The Gathering, a popular digital CCG, has announced that they will be introducing Arena-exclusive cards and mechanics. This is the first step in their plan to create a unique experience for each player in the game.
The Gathering has announced that they will be introducing a new set of cards and mechanics in the Arena format.
The Arena in Magic: The Gathering is poised to enter a new era. For years, the digital version of the popular card game has been home to the unique Historic format, which includes every card in the game (with the exception of a few prohibited cards) as well as iconic cards created especially for the format with Historic Anthology sets. With the Jumpstart: Historic Horizons collection, Wizards of the Coast is bringing Historic to the next level. The majority of the 782-card collection is made up of cards from earlier Magic: The Gathering sets, including several from Modern Horizons and Modern Horizons II. Historic Horizons, on the other hand, will contain 31 new cards that will not be available in any of Magic’s print forms. That’s because they use brand-new mechanics that take advantage of the digital nature of Magic: The Gathering Arena in ways that would be impossible to do with physical cards.
“We didn’t want to overload anybody,” says the group. Aaron Forsythe, Vice President of Design for Magic: The Gathering, tells IGN. Arena is entering “uncharted seas” with this release, he says. “We could have easily come up with a dozen crazy digital mechanics, but we thought that the best approach to make this seem like a card set was to select a limited number and demonstrate the range of what that small number of mechanics can accomplish.”
In Magic: The Gathering, Historic Horizons adds three Arena-only keywords: Seek, Perpetually, and Conjure. This is how it works:
- Seek has a tutor effect, letting players to choose a specific card from their deck. The concept takes use of the digital format by avoiding the need for players to reshuffle their cards. It makes sense since, unlike in a physical duel, players will not get any undeserved information of what cards are coming up next. Players may also Scry cards and then Seek out a card depending on what they know is at the top of their deck. They won’t delete those known cards from their following draws if they use Seek.
- Perpetually: This is a brand-new method of buffing cards. Perpetually enables players to buff or debuff cards remaining in hand or even in a graveyard, unlike enchantments, instants, and sorceries, which may always enhance permanents on the battlefield. Furthermore, these benefits do not vanish under any conditions, as the name indicates. Let’s say you grant a creature a permanent advantage on the battlefield, only for it to be slain. In that case, you may restore it to the battlefield from your graveyard, and the previously applied eternal benefits will still apply. Changes to a card’s casting cost or the addition of keywords to a creature are examples of these effects.
- Conjure: Whereas Seek and similar tutors locate cards in decks, and Learn and related card effects bring cards from the sideboard into play, Conjure generates a new card from nothing. These cards are neither tokens or copies; instead, they behave like normal cards, allowing them to be retained in the hand and without disappearing if they are bounced. Wizards of the Coast will add to this ability by releasing certain Arena cards that aren’t legal in any format and aren’t available in packs. As a result, players may only use Conjure to bring them into a game. Tropical Island, Stormfront Pegasus, and Ponder are among these cards.
(Image courtesy of Wizards of the Coast and IGN)
Historic Horizons will also offer a few cards that are one-of-a-kind in the digital format. Davriel, Soul Broker, a new Planeswalker card, is an example. Davriel’s card combines one of his abilities with the new Perpetually mechanic. Another method makes use of eight different Offers and Conditions that are selected at random. In tangible forms, this kind of design would be unworkable at best.
Historic Horizons will not be offered in booster packs like a Jumpstart set, but rather via drafts in which players choose two themed packages to build a deck. Wizards of the Coast is also using the digital format in this instance. Each pack has been given more unpredictability by the creators, so there’s always a possibility that some cards may be swapped with others. As a consequence, players are less likely to be handed twin packs more than once.
Wild cards may be used to create Historic Horizons cards, which are not available in booster packs. Only the Historic Format will be legal for the cards in the set, leaving the Standard format similar to its physical counterpart.
What are your thoughts? Please let us know in the comments section. On August 12th, Historic Horizons will be released in the Magic: The Gathering Arena.
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